Deliciously Quaint – Terry and Kathy’s on Main

Due to my frequent treks from Louisville to West Virginia via I-64, I have passed by, and often stopped at, the Mount Sterling exit, number 110. I had never ventured far enough to lose sight of the highway.  That is, until I recently traveled to Mount Sterling for my job.

We were spending one night at a hotel near the interstate which meant I needed to find a suitable restaurant for my dining needs. When driving through the quaint and pretty downtown streets, we noticed an eatery on the corner called Terry and Kathy’s on Main.  The favorable feedback on Urbanspoon encouraged us to give it a try.

Since many restaurants are closed on Mondays and we were dining early, (we had an early start that morning so I was starving by 5:00) I wondered if that could account for the fact that we were only one of two parties seated in the restaurant. By the time we left, we were the only party.  That’s a shame, and I hope it was an anomaly.  I’d like to see this place do well.

There was sufficient variety on the menu with sandwiches, salads, and entrees. After a brief internal debate I decided to go with the jumbo shrimp, fried.  I received two sides with that.  The vegetable of the day was asparagus and anyone that knows me knows I’m a sucker for asparagus so that was going to be on my plate for sure.  I also chose the “Italian green beans” hoping they would be cooked with tomatoes instead of the country cookin’ variety with bacon.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t like country cookin’.

terrykathyWe were served a soft yeast roll with our meals and I could have eaten a whole basketful. They were so comforting.  My shrimp were truly jumbo sized and I received eight perfectly crispy, perfectly breaded, perfectly tender shrimp.  These shrimp would rival any that I order at the gulf beaches.  Much to my delight, I was told they bread the shrimp in-house!  Unfortunately the green beans were indeed the country cookin’ kind but I ate most of them anyway.  I think it’s important to eat your veggies.  The asparagus didn’t look as good as they tasted – they appeared somewhat shriveled up but they were nicely seasoned and had some lemon for kick and were cooked well.

We experienced no issues with service. Prices were a little on the high side.  The high ceilings give a feeling of spaciousness and we discussed what it may have been in years past, taking clues from the architecture.

I recommend Terry & Kathy’s on Main with a rating of three out of five.

Terry and Kathy’s on Main
2 East Main Street
Mount Sterling, KY  40353
859-497-9494

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Napa River Grill: A Happier Happy Hour

photo from urbanspoon

photo from urbanspoon

Who doesn’t like a good Happy Hour? I certainly do.  Especially when the specials include drinks I actually want to drink and food I actually want to eat.  Not that typical “bar food” which is mostly frozen stuff that takes a dip in the deep fryer. Happy Hour on weekend days?  That’s practically unheard of.  But it is reality at Napa River Grill.

Located in trendy Westport Village, Napa is one of the few sit-down restaurants on the premises. (Why do we call them that?  I’m going to sit down at Qdoba even though it’s a quick-serve establishment.)  The others are Hiko a Mon (love it), Boombozz (great thin crust pizza), and Los Aztecas (aka Chimi Town, according to my husband).  Wild Eggs doesn’t count because they close long before dinnertime rolls around.

One of the things I like best about Napa, besides their awesome Happy Hour, which I will indeed get to in just a few more sentences, is the outdoor patio area. It’s enclosed with attractive iron fencing, boasts generous plantings, and features some metal sculptures.  The tables are sturdy and attractive and there are two (at least) large round tables with glass fire pits in the center.  I have never been able to sit out there because I’m too cheap to pay for the regular menu items and you’re not allowed to participate in the bar specials out there even though it’s right beside the bar area.  Oh well, I can look at from inside the bar area.

Let’s talk about the bar area. It’s open-air (when they want it to be) with some cozy seating areas featuring upholstered chairs and benches.  There are also some high top tables made from whiskey barrels.  Most of the time, it’s tough to find a seat because they do good business during Happy Hour which spans from 4:30 – 7:00.

During our most recent visit, my husband and I went on a Friday night (I know!! Specials on a Friday night!) around 5:30 and had to wait for a seat.  I am fine sipping a glass of wine whilst standing up but I don’t want to eat without a seat.  My Grandpa always said “don’t stand up and eat like a horse”.  (Again, I don’t know where these goofy sayings come from.)  Most wines by the glass, including some sparkling, are half price during Happy Hour as well as select beers, Finlandia, Grey Goose, Old Forester, and well drinks.  They offer a bar menu which includes many regular menu appetizers and sides offered at a discounted price.

My favorite food item on the bar menu is the pork carnitas tacos and I chose those for my meal tonight. For $10 you get three corn tortillas filled with tender pork, black bean and corn salsa, lettuce, and pickled red onion.  They serve a delicious tomatillo sauce on the side which you will want to pour onto your tacos.  I love these tacos.  I am going to have to start making my own pickled red onions for our homemade carnitas.

I am not sure what you have to do to get some of their delicious corn bread brought out to your table in the bar, but do try to make it happen. It’s served in a cute little cast iron skillet and it’s scrumptious.  (It’s not listed on the Bar menu.) Every plate we saw go by our table looked delicious.

We ate dinner at Napa one time and we felt like the prices were simply too high. The Happy Hour prices are right, however.  It gives me the opportunity to enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere and the beautifully presented, tasty food on my non-sophisticated budget.

I highly recommend Napa for girls’ night out or a spontaneous date night. I give it a rating of four out of five for Happy Hour.

Napa River Grill
1211 Herr Lane
Louisville, KY  40222
502-423-5822

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Don Senor is My Traveling Buddy

My family is one of those new-age blended sort of families. My two teenage daughters preferred (I’m downplaying here) to finish high school in West Virginia so I frequently (still downplaying) drive to West Virginia to see them and participate in their school events. On other occasions my ex-husband meets me part way and I bring them to my Kentucky home for the weekend. Our official meeting place is exit 137 off I-64, Morehead. These meetings occur on Friday evenings after work and we are all starving by the time we get back to Louisville, typically around 9:00. That’s really too late to eat so sometimes we succumb to the hunger pangs and eat “junk” (as I call it) at a drive through. I always feel bad about myself afterward. I’m happy to announce that we have found the perfect solution to our quandary: Don Senor Mexican Restaurant in Morehead. We not only get a break from being in the car, but also delicious and satisfying Mexican food!

I first gave this joint a try when I was staying in Morehead for work. My cousin lives in nearby Flemingsburg so she drove to Morehead to meet me for dinner. I ordered the shrimp nacho thingy and it was great. I bragged about it to my daughters so we decided it would make the perfect dinner when meeting in Morehead in the future.

On this particular day my ex-husband got stuck in traffic and was significantly delayed. My daughter (one had to stay behind for work) and I agreed that I could go ahead and eat if I got her food to go and she could then eat while I was driving.

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My shrimp chimichanga arrived golden brown and crispy with cheese sauce. Accompanying it on the plate were refried beans, Mexican rice, lettuce, pico de gallo, and sour cream. I asked them to keep their sour cream but it wasn’t worth asking for a redo when I regretfully saw it perched on top my pico. My food was tasty and served in generous portions. The tortilla was filled with several medium-sized tender shrimp, grilled peppers, and onions. The beans were the run-of-the-mill variety sprinkled with cheese. The Mexican rice was also the standard style you get at most Mexican eateries. It wasn’t anything gourmet, but they executed their style of food well.

I was disappointed in the salsa during this latest visit – it contained tomatoes. Only tomatoes. I couldn’t detect any onions, garlic, cilantro, cumin, anything. I had always enjoyed the salsa with past meals so I am hopeful this was a one-time glitch in the salsa preparation. On the bright side, I didn’t eat very many chips.

I ordered a soft chicken chimichanga for my daughter. They packed it up with chips and salsa of her very own. She reported it was as yummy as ever but agreed the salsa was subpar this time.

The restaurant is quite large and has been busy on each of my stops. Service is attentive and efficient. The prices are reasonable. There are some dishes on the menu that you don’t see at other joints and I appreciate that variety. They have an outdoor dining area for those of us who like to take advantage of the fresh air.

I recommend Don Senor with a rating of three out of five.

Don Senor Mexican Bar & Grill
140 Toms Drive
Morehead, KY  40351
606-780-0005

Don Señor Mexican Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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I Had Bad Luck at The Joy Luck

joyluck1As you have probably already figured out by reading my reviews, we like Mexican food. Truth is, my husband really likes Mexican food so he wants that cuisine about 80% of the time we choose to dine out.  Well folks, tonight I won the decision!  I have been drooling over the scrumptious photos from The Joy Luck and was anxious to experience those Asian flavors.

The Joy Luck is located on Bardstown Road right across from Baxter Theater.  In fact, that’s precisely where we parked.  It was a nice night but a little too cool to enjoy the alfresco dining on their adorable patio area.  The interior of the restaurant is nicely appointed with cool hanging lights, large dramatic art pieces, and contemporary chairs.  If you look to your left when you enter, there is the cutest, coziest little seating area with a view of the street.  I really wanted to sit there but another couple had already snagged it.

I have no complaints about the service except that our guy recommended the most expensive dish on the menu (the Beijing roast duck) and the seafood casserole which (spoiler alert) left me sadly disappointed.

But this is the beginning of our meal and I was excited about trying something new. My first instinct was to order the orange chicken.  My husband was fairly determined to get some sort of duck.  We took our time reviewing the menu and decided to begin with an appetizer of pork dumplings.  Given two choices, steamed or pan fried, we chose the latter and I’m glad we did.  One side of the dumpling was tender and forgiving to the fork while the other side was golden-brown and slightly crispy.  The well-seasoned tender pork filling was delicious.

joyluck3After asking our server for the fateful recommendations, my husband goes with the Beijing Roast Duck for $26.  Purportedly one of the most popular menu items, the “best part of the duck” is served with fluffy pancakes and accompaniments.  The dish was beautifully presented on a wooden cutting board made by Boos.  Four fluffy pancakes stacked with tender sliced duck, crunchy shredded vegetable, and hoisin sauce.  They were like puffy Asian tacos.  A delicate rose fashioned from a cousin of the radish (?) and vermicelli-style carrot provided the garnish.  I definitely give them an A for visual impact.  I stole one taste and decided it didn’t excite me.   Husband really enjoyed his food, although he felt the price tag was a little too steep for the product.

joyluck2I, unfortunately, succumbed to our server’s recommendation for the seafood casserole which was probably the second most expensive menu item (on the newly revised menu it is listed as “market price”). Honestly, it sounded good to me.  Mussels, shrimp, scallops, veggies, and curry.  I love all those components so, why not?  I’ll tell you why not.  It was freakin’ HOT.  Not spicy hot, although it had enough heat to keep things interesting.  It was temperature hot like the depths of hell.  It was so hot, I burnt my mouth on the first bite and tried my darndest not to spit it right back out like Sandra Bullock does with the foul, low-fat hot chocolate the soon-to-be Miss United States serves her in Miss Congeniality.  (do you have the visual?)  It was so hot, it completely overcooked the delicate seafood and melted the veggies.  The snow peas were limp as noodles after spending a little time in the Hades Hot Tub of Curry.  I couldn’t have been more disappointed.  I paid a lot of money for four or five medium-sized shrimp that survived the boiling cauldron fairly well, a few small bay scallops that were on the verge of rubbery, a half dozen mussels that had crossed over completely to rubber, and various overcooked vegetables.  The flavor of the broth could be described as scalding.

I really regretted not going with the orange chicken.

This brings me to a philosophical thought.  What does one do in a situation like that?  On one hand, I could have told our server that my food was insanely hot resulting in overcooked everything and they may have offered to redo it or bring something else or adjust the bill.  On the other hand, I chose to accept my fate based on the choice I made when I ordered.  I don’t want to be perceived as trying to get a free meal or being a “complainer”.  In my opinion, the error was in the preparation therefore I should have been able to ask them to rectify it without feeling guilty or shameful (right?) but when in that situation, I feel guilty and shameful anyway.  What would you do?

I would like to go back and give it another try if I can ever again talk my husband into eating something other than Mexican. Or a cheeseburger.

I give The Joy Luck two out of five for this experience.

The Joy Luck
1285 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY  40204
502-238-3070

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El Mariachi – Delicioso!

mariachi5Some couples run together, some do volunteer work together, some enjoy traveling together.  My husband and I share a love of Mexican food and we are committed to enjoying some each and every week.  We probably should combine that habit with some running to keep our waistlines in check, huh?

Our target this week: El Mariachi.  The restaurant is located in a small strip mall off LaGrange Road.  There is a treasure trove of good eats in this little shopping center including a bakery where you can procure fresh made corn tortillas and churros among many other offerings.  There is also a butcher shop and a grocery.  We frequent the grocery when we are planning to make Mexican at home.  The prices on the fresh produce can’t be beat, especially when we need more than a dozen limes just for the margaritas.  The grocery also boasts a nice selection of various varieties of chili peppers.  It was so fun just to browse and smell all the chilies.

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The interior is reminiscent of the other Mexican joints around town.  The menu, though, began to show how this particular eatery would stand apart from the rest.  I wish I could remember all the items I wanted to tell you about.  Go to their website and take a look at it yourself.  This food is different from what you’ll get at an El Nopal.

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The chips were obviously corn tortillas cut and fried fresh.  For me, they were too thick and retained too much of the oil for maximum enjoyment but, of course, I ate my fair share.  We were served a trio of salsas:  a green salsa, a spicy red salsa, and a typical tomato salsa.  My favorite of the three was the tomato salsa.  We debated the type of chili we thought was used in the green salsa and my husband was convinced it was poblano.

 

mariachi3I ordered a combination of chicken enchilada, beef taco, and Mexican rice.  The enchilada did not have “filler” peppers and onions, but was filled with tender chicken.  The sauce was the star.  Very dark brown and rich.  It was plated with an artful squirting of crema and a sprinkling of fresco cheese.  The best enchilada I’ve tasted aside from Guaca Mole, which is really in a different category of restaurant.n  The seasoned beef in the taco was great and was topped with lettuce, cheese and tomatoes.  I loved the rice which was mildly seasoned with an assortment of veggies.  Yes, they were probably thrown in the pot from a bag of frozen mixed veggies but the flavor of the broth the rice was cooked in combined with the veggies simply made me happy.

 

mariachi4My husband ordered a combination of two beef tacos and a chicken flauta.  I’m surprised I even got to taste the flauta because it was super delicious.  in fact, I think it’s one of the truest displays of love my honey has ever shown me.  I wanted to order a dozen of those babies and take them home with us to snack on the rest of the day.  Filled with tender shredded chicken, the rolled flour tortilla was fried super crisp without being greasy.  It was crowned with crema and cheese.  Three letters;  O.  M.  G.

Service was good and prices reasonable.  The restaurant, while appearing a bit “worn”, was very clean.  We will definitely be back to enjoy those flautas again and try something new.  I think I’ll have to get another enchilada, too.  That sauce is so good.  Excuse me while I daydream….

Even though the chips could be improved, I’ve got to go with Four out of Five because it’s better than a rating of three and I hate to get into the whole decimal thing.

El Mariachi
9901 Lagrange Rd Ste I
Louisville, KY 40223
502-413-5770

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Fish Sandwich Throwdown: The Fishery Versus the Fish House

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The Fishery in St. Mathews

I have a thing for fish sandwiches.  It all started when I was a scrawny, unfortunate-looking kid.  I was a picky eater with a capital “P”.  When my parents would take us to McDonalds, I was forced to find something to eat.  McDonalds didn’t introduce the chicken nugget until 1983 so I had the options of hamburgers or a filet o’ fish.  I didn’t like hamburgers and would never consider eating one on a BUN with CONDIMENTS.  Eeeeew…gag me with a spoon.  So I went with the fish sandwich.  I could live with the bun, but not the cheese or tarter sauce.  My dad absolutely hated going to McDonalds with me and having to order that fish sandwich plain because it meant we got the orange road cone placed atop our car and we had to pull over into a parking spot to wait on the special order.  Many times they made it wrong and it would be presented to us with either cheese or tarter sauce which made me wonder why people can’t understand what the word “plain” means.

Now that I’m all grown up, I’m not that picky of an eater but I still like my fish sandwiches unadulterated.  I want to taste the FISH!  Before I moved to Kentucky, my blogging partners and I did an extensive study during Lent on the best fish sandwich available in Charleston, WV.  We aptly named the series: Top Fish.  The winner was a glorious sandwich from the Fresh Seafood Company made of two breaded whitefish fillets and a buttery, flaky croissant. It’s still one of the best to ever cross my lips.

Here in Louisville, I haven’t been presented with many opportunities to partake of fish sandwiches.  I’ve been to The Fishery many times and recently gave The Fish House a try.  So, let’s have a local fish sandwich Throwdown!

I will be judging based on several key components of fish sandwich enjoyment: 1) restaurant environment, 2) service, 3) breading, 4) bread, 5) the fish itself, 6) accompaniments, and 7) price.

1) Restaurant environment.  I’ve been to the Fishery locations in St. Mathews and Middletown.  Both are clean and top the Fish House in that department.  I’m sure it’s tough to keep up with all that fry grease and maintain a spotless eating area but The Fishery does a good job of it.  Both have some outdoor seating but the Fish House has a nicer patio.  Taking all things into consideration, the cleanliness factor gives The Fishery a leg up in this category.

2) Service.  Both establishments have similar SOPs: you order and pay at the counter, someone calls your name when it’s ready, and there are condiments and paper products available in the dining area.  That suits me just fine.  I don’t need to be waited on like the Queen of Sheba to enjoy my fish sandwich.  We asked a lot of questions at the Fish House like “do you bread the onion rings in house?” “are the fries fresh cut”, and “what’s the difference between scrod and haddock?”  The gentleman at the counter (who I’m betting was the owner) was super friendly.  He answered all our questions and gave us additional information without rushing us.  We’ve always received polite, efficient service at The Fishery as well.  Due to the excellent service offered to us at the counter, The Fish House wins this point.

fishhouse1

Haddock combo at The Fish House

3) Breading.  Now here’s where things start to get serious.  Good breading is essential to a good fish sandwich.  Unless, of course, you’re eating a grilled fish sandwich.  I like a golden brown, crispy breading that does not overpower the taste of the fish.  I am not a fan of spices in the breading – just give me some good ol’ American S & P.  The breading on The Fishery fish is fantastic.  It completely coats the fish with a golden brown breading that is thick enough to impart a nice crunch but not too much to overpower the thick, flaky cod.  It adheres well to the fish fillet and is nicely and simply seasoned.

The breading at The Fish House left much to be desired.

My husband and I ordered two different types of fish but I think the cornmeal breading was intended to be the same even though they turned out differently.  That sounded confusing.  My husband’s breading was on the light side and had a nice golden brown color.  I think mine was way overcooked and resulted in a much drier, darker end result.  Also, I felt the Fish House breading was underseasoned.  The Fishery definitely wins for best breading.

4) The bread.  I just don’t get why you Louisvillians want to eat your fish on two slices of el cheapo sandwich bread.  And I ask this question before going into the specifics of each restaurant because they both use sandwich bread as the standard.  First, the sandwich bread is way too thin which completely throws off the bread to fish ratio.  If I were a condiment person, I probably wouldn’t even be able to detect that I was eating any bread.  Secondly, there’s not near enough of the crusty part on sandwich bread slices unless you happen to luck out and get a heal.  Third, it just seems cheap to me, like they can’t afford real buns.  Fourth, the bread isn’t toasted, buttered, grilled, heated or nothing!  They just pull a couple slices out of the bag and slap the fish on it.   If you don’t want sandwich bread (like me) both places also offer some sort of bun.   Just like the bread, however, the buns are not prepped in any way.  It’s just the cold, plain bun out of the bag.  In my opinion, bread like that adds absolutely no value and may, in fact, be a detraction.  I just eat my fish sandwich without bread at these places.  This one is a tie – they both suck in the bread department.

fishhouse2

onion rings at The Fish House

5) The fish itself.  Like I explained previously, my husband and I ordered different types of fish at the Fish House so we could try both.  The cod (which was listed as scrod on the menu board) was flaky and tasty.  The fillet was not as thick as what I expected.   The haddock was dry, possibly due to overcooking.  The Fishery cod filet is always thick, hot, and super flaky.  There’s no contest on this factor – the Fishery wins hands down.

6)  Accompaniments.  The Fish House offers fries, cole slaw, onion rings, hush puppies, and other stuff. I chose fries and my husband chose the rings.  We both ordered our own hush puppies because we really like them and we aren’t willing to share with each other.  We were very excited about the rings because they make them in-house with their own breading.  Sadly, they turned out to be weird.  The onion slices were dry and lifeless.  The breading was underseasoned and seemed very similar to what was on the fish.  Maybe it’s just that it tasted like fish breading because it was all fried in the same grease?   No matter, we didn’t like them.   The fries are standard frozen straight-cut fries and were well-executed.   Hubby liked their hushpuppies better than I did.  I felt they were (are you seeing a trend?) a bit underseasoned.   I know I said I don’t like condiments on my fish, but I do like condiments on my fries.  My husband REQUIRES LOTS of ketchup for the fries, the onion rings and the fish sandwich.  We were mortified that the Fish House does not serve Heinz ketchup.  I am going to really hold back at this juncture and not delve into a tyrade about how Heinz ketchup is the ONLY ketchup.  Maybe another day.

The Fishery offers similar sides.  We always get fries and hush puppies.  (Mental note:  try the onion rings next time.)  The fries here are frozen as well and they are served hot, crispy, and golden.  The hushpuppies, in my opinion, are better at The Fishery.  They are more flavorful, a bit less dough-y, and slightly less dense.  I like to slather butter on my pups.  Yum!  The Fishery serves Heinz ketchup.  The point goes to The Fishery, but that ketchup situation would have taken the Fish House down regardless of the quality of the onion rings.

fishery2

Cod and hushpuppies at The Fishery

7.  Price.  Comparing the two eateries, prices are similar.  The Fishery offers a fish sandwich combo (sandwich plus two sides) for $8.25.  A generous order of hushpuppies is an additional $2.25. The Fish House offers a combo (sandwich and two sides) for $7.95 and hushpuppies are a quarter each.  I feel like you are getting much better quality for the money at The Fishery.  For that reason, The Fishery edges past the Fish House in this category.

Let’s tally the results:

Category The Fishery The Fish House 
Environment Win Lose
Service Lose Win
Breading Win Lose
Bread Tie Tie
The Fish Itself Win Lose
Accompaniments Win Lose
Price Win Lose
Total Winner, in a Landslide!

 

The Fishery – Middletown
11519 Shelbyville Rd. Ste. A.
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 409-4296

The Fishery Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Fish House
1310 Winter Avenue
Louisville, KY 40204
(502) 568-2993

The Fish House and Cafe Beignet on Urbanspoon

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Food + Drinks + Patio = A Fun Time at the Monkey Wrench

monkey2

Wings

We were out on the town on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon looking for food and fun.  We sure found it on the upper level patio of the Monkey Wrench!

My two teenage daughters were with us.  They describe me as “obsessed with patios”.  What can I say?  I love outdoor dining when the weather is nice.  This was my first visit to the Monkey Wrench and I’m sure we will be back.

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Monkey Wrench Burger with fresh cut fries

We ordered a round of drinks to get started.  My husband had read about a gin and tonic prepared with cucumber and blueberries in a recent edition of the LEO so he was geared up to try it.  I typically go with a glass of wine but hubby was hoping we would all get fancy cocktails so I appeased him by ordering the white sangria.  He asked for two fruity virgin drinks with umbrellas for the girls.  Although I couldn’t really detect any flavor from the blueberries, my husband’s drink was refreshing and attractive.  (It inspired us to host a gin & tonic cocktail party at our home.)  My white sangria was tasty and the girls enjoyed their fruity drinks as well.  Many thanks to the establishment for charging us a very reasonable price for the two virgin drinks and really dressing them up with a fruit garnish and an honest-to-goodness drink umbrella!

The upstairs deck is dubbed the Lono Lounge and features a Cuban-Asian inspired menu.  We all ordered something to tide us over until dinner.  My husband’s favorite food “on the planet” is a cheeseburger so he wanted to see what the Monkey Wrench Burger had to offer.  I ordered the grilled shrimp on sugar cane, my 8th grader chose the wings and my junior selected the four cheese macaroni and cheese.

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Grilled Shrimp on Sugar Cane

After a slightly extended wait time (we were enjoying the atmosphere so it was not a problem) our food arrived.  I tasted everyone’s food except the burger because my husband was guarding it carefully.  My grilled shrimp did not look the way I had expected – it was finely chopped shrimp combined with other ingredients (garlic, cilantro, mint, basil) and formed into a corn dog sort of shape around the length of sugar cane.  It was very tasty so I don’t regret the choice, I just thought it would look like shrimp.

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Four Cheese Mac

The wings boasted a yummy sauce with both sweet and heat working in tandem.  They look somewhat burnt in the photo above but we did not get a burnt taste.  They were super caramelized and I like that a lot.  The mac and cheese was very good – ditalini pasta mixed with a blend of four cheeses (gruyere, white cheddar, American, and fontina) garnished with some sort of meat (the dark specks) and green onions.  Almost every plate has a sprinkling of green onions which seemed like overkill but it did add a nice kick to the mac and cheese.  My husband gave up some of his fresh cut fries and we girls gladly scarfed them up.  They had good flavor with some crunch and some tenderness so you could really taste the potato.  My husband said his burger was one of the best he’s had in the city!

All the components:  the food, the drinks, and the tiki-themed patio, added up to a fun and delicious experience with good service and a reasonable tab.  I’m anxious to go back and try the five spiced lemongrass chicken empanadas.  My husband has heard tell (that’s how we hillbillies would put it) of a burger special so I won’t have to twist his arm to get him there.

I rate the Lono Lounge at the Monkey Wrench 3 out of 5 overall.

The Monkey Wrench
1025 Barret Avenue
Louisville, KY
(502) 582-2433

Monkey Wrench on Urbanspoon

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